Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Just Smile

It’s cheap. It’s easy. It works.

If you want to reduce your stress all you have do is smile. If you don’t feel the feeling, do it anyway. Force yourself. It’s therapeutic.

We are going to credit the insight to neuroscientific research, but, in truth, it’s an old song, called: Smile.

Here are some of the lyrics:

Smile though your heart is aching
Smile even though it's breaking
When there are clouds in the sky, you'll get by
If you smile through your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You'll see the sun come shining through for you 

For our further edification, here’s Judy Garland singing it:

The old song knew that you did not have to feel happy to smile. Smiling when you are miserable and stressed out will make you feel better. Even if the smile is fake and artificial.

Science has again proved the point. Forcing yourself to smile will improve your mood. It is not the be-all and end-all to good feelings and stress reduction, but there is no be-all and end-all to good feelings and stress reduction.

Yet, it is a positive step that everyone can do, or, should I say, almost everyone can do it.

Consider this: the best and the most therapeutic smile does not stop at your mouth. It radiates outward and involves the muscles around your eyes.

But, what happens if you have numbed your face with Botox or have had your face stretched and lifted.

These cosmetic procedures impost strict limits on your ability to contort your face into a smile. If you are bubbling with joy, Botox will bring you down. If you try to perform the therapeutic exercise, Botox will inhibit you.

So, the Botox and the lift reduce your ability to feel happiness. Therefore they will stress you out and make you more miserable.

Who knew?


Dennis said...

Just a lovely piece of music that has a beautiful emotional context to it. The French Horn work behind her in the bridge is perfection.
Isn't amazing how words sometimes fail us, but music, and many times with vocal, has a way of imparting a story that reaches us at the most personal level?
I have stated on a number of occasions that a smile is a woman's most powerful tool. This applies to men as well. One should never become so serious, hard to do, that they fail to see the humor in much of life.
I know that each morning I do the CRYPTOQUIP along with a number of mental challenges. Sometimes it is the better part of a PUN, PU, but it never fails to illicit a smile. A smile from a beautiful woman never fails to make life a enjoyable.

Webutante said...

I mediated a botox case in Teton County court several years ago. Afterwards, if I'd ever entertained even a tiny thought of having botox, it ended with that extremely unhappy, unsmiling mediation.

Ever seen people (women) who had perfect, tight skin and yet never smile? Makes us look decades older. As well as not being able to laugh at ourselves. Such a bore! Great post.